The Hamilton Nationals were just one of two teams to not yet play a game, until last night when they defeated the Boston Cannons on the road 15-8. The Cannons now fall to a dangerous 0-2 to start their season. The story of this game was the showing of the Cannons issues on the fore front, while Kevin Crowley showed what a dominant MLL player he can be.
The Cannons got a Paul Rabil goal just 30 seconds in but from then on, it was all Nationals. Crowley led the Nats with four goals and three assists while Martin Cahill, a former Cannon, picked up three along with Kevin Ross.
Brett Queener made 17 saves on the Cannons who once again struggled to score. Ari Sussman was the leading scorer with three goals and an assist while Rabil scored two goals, but after that it was just a goal a piece from Kevin Buchanan and Matt Poskay. In two games on the season Poskay has two points, a big concern for this Cannons team.
A bigger concern is Jordan Burke who has struggled since late last season. He made nine saves and gave up 10 goals before Mike Gabel game in and made eight saves giving up five goals. If Burke can’t get it done, that’s a huge worry for the Cannons who have relied on his presence in net.
Merrill picked up seven loose balls and with just two goals for Rabil, it can be said that Merrill was the victor in the always anticipated battle between two of the best in the game.
The Cannons are now 0-2 and in last place in MLL, two games back of Denver and Chesapeake. The only teams with less goals are Ohio, Hamilton, Charlotte and Rochester (one game each) and New York with 16 to the Cannons 18. Meanwhile at 28 goals, they have allowed the most in the league and five more than second-to-last-place Denver.
Hamilton showed signs of promise for such a young team looking to contend in a very deep league. They have to be happy with Queener as their guy in net in game one and Matt Delonte in the face off dot, winning 14 of 25. Meanwhile, the Cannons have issues they need to address fast.